Coping with the aftermath of an acquired brain injury


Coping with the aftermath of an acquired brain injury

Suffering from an acquired brain injury can be a distressing experience for the affected individual and their family members. The effects can make daily life difficult for people, and therefore it is important to seek support to get the best treatment possible.

An acquired brain injury is an injury that has occurred to an area of the brain. There are many different types of acquired brain injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries are injuries that occur as a result of trauma to the head, for example after a fall or a car accident. Other forms of acquired brain injuries include damage to the brain following a stroke, having a tumour, or a condition known as encephalitis. The effects of a brain injury can vary depending on the severity and location of the damage and can differ on an individual basis. Therefore, at the London Neurocognitive Clinic, we understand the importance of assessing and treating individuals on a case-by-case basis.

As mentioned, symptoms can vary greatly between individuals, however there are common groups of symptoms that may be experienced with an acquired brain injury. An individual may suffer from cognitive deficits such as memory problems; language deficits such as difficulties understanding speech; motor deficits like swallowing problems; or functional challenges, which can include having an impaired ability to drive a car, or to dress or bathe yourself. All of these symptoms can present challenges which can affect daily functioning.

By visiting a clinical neuropsychologist, we can assess the difficulties that are present, and help form a plan of neurorehabilitation that can improve your quality of life. A neuropsychologist will first perform a neuropsychological assessment. This includes a number of tasks that can test various cognitive domains, for example, short-term memory or verbal language. After completing these tasks, your test will be interpreted and analysed based on a number of different factors. This will provide us with your areas that you perform particularly well in, and areas that you struggle with, which could benefit from some improvement.

One of our neuropsychologists can then devise a plan for neurorehabilitation using the information they gathered in the neuropsychological assessment. Neurorehabilitation may mean also meeting with a speech and language therapist or an occupational therapist and can comprise a number of strategies or therapies that can help improve the cognitive challenges. These strategies can make life a little easier and can also help improve the psychological challenges of suffering from an acquired brain injury, so levels of distress can be reduced as well. It is also important to consider the effect of where you live and how you spend your time in case there are any areas that could benefit from some modifications. All of these factors may play a role in ensuring the most successful treatment.

To conclude, the impact of an acquired brain injury can have far-reaching effects, therefore it is important to have a proper assessment, so that the support you are receiving is as bespoke and tailored to you as possible.

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